LYNDON CENTER, Vt. — The life of a United States Marine in Afghanistan's Helmond Province is filled with danger — and periods of down time that, up to this point, they have had a hard time filling. With the help of Lyndon State College, the Lyndon baseball team and members of the community, their down time will soon be filled with recreation and athletic time.
Under the initiative of Lyndon student-athlete Cody Gage — who's father, Sergeant Paul Anthony Gage, a Marine stationed in Afghanistan — the school went on a nationwide search for donations of athletic equipment to send to the troops.
"It was amazing to see how willing the community was to help these Marines," said Lyndon's head baseball coach Ryan Farley. "We all seem to take for granted that Americans are overseas fighting for our country. It is a good feeling to be a part of something like this."
Among the donations the school received were baseball bats, helmets, gloves, and balls; basketballs; volleyballs and nets; soccer balls; whiffle balls and bats; golf clubs and balls; Nerf footballs; Frisbees; kick balls; a dartboard; and more. Donations came from around Vermont, New York City, Florida and a former Marine stationed in Germany.
During the baseball team's first home game of the season, the Hornets flew an American flag in left field that Sergeant Gage had sent — a flag that had previously flown over Gage's base in Afghanistan.
Don Mersereau, a 1977 graduate of Lyndon who operates several UPS stores in the Burlington area, volunteered his time to package all the goods for shipping.